A study in 2015 showed that the prescription opioid crisis caused almost one million people to be absent from their jobs. Employers are increasingly aware of this crisis and seek to identify if their workforce has problems with prescription opioid addiction and abuse (Chronic Pain and Opioid Use Disorder, or CPOUD).

Employers are encouraged to work with providers, provider networks, and employee assistance programs (EAPs) who use guidelines based on evidence-based practices, like the Dr. Robert Bree Collaborative, to address opioid issues in an effort to help their employees stay in the workforce. 

In 2016, the Bree Collaborative in Washington State convened a workgroup that developed opioid prescribing metrics to help implement opioid guidelines and standardize comparisons between populations. The metrics were designed to have a strategic focus and to be used for quality improvement. 

First Choice Health (FCH) has implemented those metrics to provide a population health report on employee opioid use for our clients. This report is made possible by running the client's pharmacy claims from their PBM through First Choice Health analytics using the following nine Bree Collaborative Opioid Prescribing Metrics.

  • Metric 1: Patients prescribed any opioid by age group
  • Metric 2: Patients prescribed chronic opioids (60 days of opioids in 1 quarter) 
  • Metric 3: Patients prescribed high-dose chronic opioids among patients prescribed chronic opioids
  • Metric 4: Patients prescribed chronic opioids and sedatives
  • Metric 5: New member's day supply of first opioid prescription
  • Metric 6: New opioid patients subsequently prescribed chronic opioids
  • Metric 7: Opioid overdose deaths
  • Metric 8: Non-fatal overdose involving prescription opioids
  • Metric 9: Patients prescribed chronic opioids who have an Opioid Use Disorder diagnosis
First Choice Health is also launching a new program in May 2019 to help people taking opioids who have chronic pain and opioid use disorder. Our new Case Management (CM) program is being developed to address this current health crisis and bring FCH clinical knowledge and resources to improve the health of the population. Stay tuned for more program details coming soon.   
Posted In:  Behavioral Health Healthcare Industry

About John Robinson, MD

Dr. Robinson oversees medical management and predictive modeling within the Healthcare Analytics and Quality programs at FCH. Board certified in Family Medicine, Dr. Robinson is an adjunct faculty member at Gonzaga University and has taught courses in the MBA courses at the Graduate School of Business. In 2011 he was appointed by the Governor of the State of Washington to be one of the original members of the Bree Collaborative.